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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, September 27, 2013

Date published:
September 27, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Italy plans to make everyone suffer in elite men's Worlds

    Can Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) deliver on home soil
    Article published:
    September 26, 2013, 19:00 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Nibali ready for role as aggressive team leader

    Italian national coach Paolo Bettini has confirmed that the Italian team will ride aggressively in Sunday's world championships road race in the hope of creating a hard and selective race and so favour team leader Vincenzo Nibali or at least make the likes of Peter Sagan and Fabian Cancellara suffer.

    The Italian squad rode the Florence finishing circuit for the first time on Thursday morning. Bettini refused to name his final starting nine until close to Friday's deadline. He movingly remembered the late Franco Ballerini, who was the national coach when Bettini won his two world titles (2006, 2007) and Olympic gold at the 2004 Games in Athens. Ballerini's widow and children attended the press conference to encourage the Italian riders and wish them all the best.

    Bettini is expected to go for experience and climbing ability rather youth and speed.

    Vincenzo Nibali and Filippo Pozzato are expected to be team leaders, with Diego Ulissi also given protected status after his excellent ride at the Vuelta a Espana. Rinaldo Nocentini, Giampaolo Caruso, Michele Scarponi, Luca Paolini, Giovanni Visconti and Ivan Santaromita will be expected to go in the early breaks and do the heavy lifting and chasing. Simone Ponzi and Alessandro Vanotti likely to be the two reserves who will help with information and tactics from the road side in the absence of race radios.

    "A lot's been said about the world championships but now it's time to race," Bettini said in a long and drawn out press conference.

    "The circuit is great but also hard. We're up against a lot of rivals but we're playing at home and we're ready. We'll see how the race evolves on Sunday and see what happens during the...

  • UCI's CADF announces new independent board

    UCI President Pat McQuaid at the UCI headquarters in Aigle
    Article published:
    September 26, 2013, 20:00 BST
    Cycling News

    Management committee accepts Professional Cycling Council's proposed reforms

    Addressing a meeting of the UCI Management Committee, taking place alongside the 2013 UCI Road World Championships in Florence, Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF) Director Dr. Francesca Rossi announced that the new Foundation Board will be presided over by Dr. George Ruijsch Van Dugteren. The board will also include two legal experts respectively in Swiss law and anti-doping/results management, Maitre Christophe Misteli and Thomas Capdevielle from IAAF, as well as a financial expert Yvan Haymoz.

    "The new board does not include any members of the UCI senior management, further strengthening its independence from cycling's governing body," said Dr. Rossi. "I am particularly delighted that Dr. George Ruijsch will be chairing the new Foundation Board of the CADF. Dr. Ruijsch is someone with enormous experience in the field of anti-doping, invaluable to the CADF. He will be accompanied in this role by an internationally recognised and eminent group of experts who will constitute the new board."

    The UCI created the (CADF) to manage the activities and funding of its anti-doping programme in 2008.

    Dr. Rossi also announced that the CADF, which continues to work closely with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), has been awarded an ISO certification from an independent standards body for all its activities. The ISO 9001:2008 certification recognises the high quality of CADF's anti-doping activities in the areas of test planning, registered testing pool, and sample collection. Dr. Rossi also confirmed that the supervision of the athletes' biological program remains outsourced to the Athlete Passport Management Unit (APMU) in Lausanne.

    In addition, the UCI Management Committee accepted the principles of the stakeholder working group proposals for major reforms of professional cycling...

  • Stetina in Worlds despite emotional times at home

    Peter Stetina (Garmin-Sharp) leads teammate Tom Danielson on Mt. Nebo.
    Article published:
    September 26, 2013, 21:00 BST
    Laura Weislo

    Family struck by serious injury, Boulder floods

    Most athletes have to overcome obstacles in order to get to the world championships: normally it is injury, illness, or simply the stress of training, but American Peter Stetina has had much more serious events to deal with before arriving in Florence. Earlier this month, Stetina's father Dale was seriously injured in a cycling accident in Boulder, and then two weeks ago his family's home was swamped by the flooding.

    He's been buoyed by an outpouring of support from hundreds of friends and fans, but his nod from USA Cycling to race the Worlds was the biggest solace in a difficult few weeks.

    "I really have to thank USA Cycling for the vote of confidence because I've had such a volatile fall season," Stetina told Cyclingnews. "For them to actually have the confidence that I could come to Italy and perform for my country, that was important to me. It helped a lot. The bike was the easy part, getting out to train - you have full control of your intervals, how hard you go and what you need to do that day - that was the escape in all honesty."

    Stetina's father crashed while riding near Boulder when a car pulled out in front of his group on a descent, and despite the fact he was wearing a helmet, he crashed face-first and was in a coma, with doctors doubting he could pull through at all. The prognosis rapidly improved, however, and in less than a month he has progressed to a rehabilitation facility, the Craig Hospital in Denver, one of the country's premiere brain injury centers.

    Yet at the same time, the family home was hit by the biblical flooding that struck Colorado, and the basement was swamped not just by flood water but raw sewage.

    "We had to wear 'hazmat' masks while we were ripping out carpets," Stetina said. "All of the neighbors came to help,...

  • Gallery: Four decades of road Worlds

    2001 Worlds: Don't worry Paolo Bettini...your chance will come to win rainbow stripes
    Article published:
    September 27, 2013, 2:00 BST
    Peter Hymas

    Moser, Hinault, LeMond and Bugno plus peloton's current stars

    Another chapter of the elite men's road race world championship is waiting to be written on Sunday afternoon and with 25 of the top 30 riders in the world slated to start, including all three Grand Tour winners from this year as well as the previous four rainbow jersey winners, the racing should be stellar.

    The parcours in Florence, Italy, will be punishing, featuring 3,000 meters of climbing over a 272km route and undoubtedly a worthy champion will be crowned.

    To whet your appetite for Sunday's finale Cyclingnews has compiled images from 30 different world championship editions, stretching back to 1968 where Vittorio Adorni crushed the peloton and won alone by an astonishing 10 minutes on home soil in Imola, Italy.

    The world championships are a special day of racing as it's the one event each year where trade team kits, albeit not always loyalties, are traded for the colours of one's national team.

    Check out the 116 photo gallery for a trip down memory lane consisting of cycling luminaries such as Eddy Merckx, Francesco Moser, Bernard Hinault, Greg LeMond, Moreno Argentin, Gianni Bugno as well as the champions of a more recent vintage.

  • Rasmussen's suspension reduced to two years

    Michael Rasmussen (Christina Watches-Ofone) wins stage 3
    Article published:
    September 27, 2013, 5:00 BST
    Cycling News

    Shorter than expected punishment after cooperation with authorities

    Michael Rasmussen received a two-year suspension yesterday for his use of banned substances. He will be handed a shorter ban than expected because he cooperated with the Danish anti-doping authorities.

    The Danish rider who had to leave the Tour de France in the yellow jersey in 2007 because he had not been at the location he had indicated in his whereabouts and later admitted to having used doping products almost his entire career, will be suspended until February 2015. Originally, an eight-year ban was proposed.

    Rasmussen confessed to doping during talks with the Danish sports federation in January of this year. In a televised press conference, he admitted to having taken EPO, human growth hormone, insulin, cortisone and blood transfusions between 1998 and 2010.

    He was suspended on February 8 of this year for a period of eight years. The ban will be reduced to two years because he cooperated with the authorities.

    Rasmussen not only talked extensively about his own use of doping but also informed the anti-doping authority of widespread doping in the sport. The results of this investigation in which current Saxo-Tinkoff manager Bjarne Riis plays an important role, are in the final stages. The report will be published later this year or early 2013.

    According to the rules, Rasmussen should lose some of his results per the eight-year statute of limitations, as calculated from his January 2013 confession date.  He would lose his two polka dot jerseys and...

  • Gilbert on World Championships: I’m not the top favourite for Sunday

    Philippe Gilbert (BMC) pops the cork on a fine day's work
    Article published:
    September 27, 2013, 9:08 BST
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    Defending World Champion warns that rain could cause big crashed

    Belgium’s Philippe Gilbert says he is “very ambitious” when it comes to defending his title but that he is “not the top favourite” and will be “racing under the radar:” He will look to repeat his victory in the World Championships road race on Sunday.

    Following his dramatic victory in Valkenberg last year, Gilbert has had a tough season, with just one win to date, a brilliantly netted stage in the Vuelta a España. And although he looked in top shape when he met a mostly Belgian contingent of the international press on Friday morning, the 31-year-old seemed keen to avoid excessive pressure.

    “I’m not the top favourite and I’m going try to make the most of this situation,” Gilbert said. “There’s plenty of other guys out there who can do a good race - amongst them [Peter] Sagan, [Fabian] Cancellara, Alejandro Valverde, Vincenzo Nibali, [Joaquim] Rodriguez, Dani Moreno maybe, too, he’s been in good form lately.”

    He also mentioned Cadel Evans  - who’s in good shape and who will be racing on a course “very similar to 2009 when he won”   -and added for good measure  a host of Dutch riders like Robert Gesink and Bauke Mollema, as well as  Alexandre Kolobnev, twice a silver medallist for Russia in the Worlds “and who loves this kind of course, too.”

    “The course is very hard, it’s impossible to say where it will be decided,” Gilbert added. “Breaks could go from anywhere, often there’s an attack in the World’s between the flat sections just when everybody is catching their breath, some guys come up and bang, a group of...

  • UCI Congress declines to vote on election amendment

    Pat McQuaid was all smiles
    Article published:
    September 27, 2013, 11:18 BST
    Laura Weislo

    Tensions bristle in UCI congress

    The tension over the procedures to elect the next UCI president were apparent as the UCI Congress delegates gathered in the Palazzo Vecchio, with those who have already declared themselves to be behind Pat McQuaid engaging in procedural debates with those backing Brian Cookson.

    The first order of interest was the proposed amendments to the UCI constitution coming from Barbados and Turkey which would automatically allow an incumbent president to stand for re-election, but the debate was blocked.

    The block came courtesy of Oceania confederation delegate Richard Leggat, who objected to the idea that a new amendment could be put into effect immediately without them being given proper time to debate the proposal with the national federations. He put forth a motion for the delegates to vote on whether the congress would decide on the amendment today, but there was not a majority agreement, and the amendments will not be considered this year.

    The decision put one more obstacle in front of Pat McQuaid's ability to stand for re-election, with the somewhat vague language of the article detailing that the "federation of the candidate" should put forth his or her nomination.

    McQuaid's native country of Ireland, and his country of residence Switzerland, have both withdrawn his nomination, leaving him to rely upon a novel interpretation of this article which would allow honorary membership in the Moroccan and Thailand federations to form a valid nomination.

  • Brian Cookson elected UCI President

    Brian Cookson at the 2013 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships
    Article published:
    September 27, 2013, 13:21 BST
    Cycling News

    Challenger ousts Pat McQuaid 24-18 in final vote

    Brian Cookson has been elected as the new president of the UCI. At the UCI's annual Congress today in Florence, the British candidate received the majority of votes from the 42 authorized delegates. He defeated incumbent Pat McQuaid, who has served as UCI president since 2006.

    Cookson beat his rival by 24 votes to 18 in the final run off.

    "It's a huge honour to be voted president and I thank you for your trust. The real work starts now. I call on the global community to unite so that the sport lives up to its potential. We must have a new style of government and a collegiate system. My first act as president is to ensure anti-doping is fully independent and to sit down with WADA," Cookson said.

    "It is a huge honour to have been elected President of the UCI by my peers and I would like to thank them for the trust they have placed in me today."

    "The campaign to get to this point has been intense but I am under no illusion that the real work starts now. So I call on the global cycling community to unite and come together to help ensure that our great sport realises its enormous potential. This is the vision that will drive and focus my activities over the next four years.

    “I have said throughout my campaign that we must embrace a new style of governance and a collegiate way of working so that a new era of growth and commercial success for the UCI and our sport can begin."

    The early part of the Congress had been dominated by discussion over the validity of McQuaid's nomination. Having lost support from both the Irish and Swiss federations he was reliant on the backing from Asia. After much deliberation Cookson took to the floor and demanded that the vote go forward between the two candidates, stating, "We've had enough of this".